I have been working remotely for almost a year now. While this change in my work environment resulted in one of my most exciting career moves, it also turned out to be one of my most challenging. I have this co-worker that has a mind of his own, always make a mess at lunch, and will even take naps. That’s right, he takes naps. I work with this co-worker and sometimes he acts like he is two.
Can you relate? I thought so! Here are a few tips I have come up with that will help you get through those EXTRA busy days while juggling parenting, work, and the regular day-to-day.
Get Them Involved
Starting a new job can be enough of a challenge. Add in watching a 2-year old full-time, cooking breakfast, lunch and dinner and hitting work deadlines.
I found myself on the losing end almost daily. Then I had an idea. If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em. I decided instead of trying to distract him with Bubble Guppies and Paw Patrol, I would get him involved. If laundry needed to be done, he helped. If the dishwasher needed to be emptied, he helped. If I had a conference call, he watched (with a full container of cheesies on hand).
I got him as involved as possible and it worked. I could not believe how much work I was getting done but I was. He was happy, my clients were happy and I was happy.
Don’t Wake up Early
That’s right. Don’t set yourself up to work ridiculous hours. I did this and trust me, you will get tired and your performance will start to decline. I was waking up at 5:30 am then working until midnight 2-4 days out of the week. All this did make me more irritable, I wound up even more behind and I had little to no patience.
My advice: Sunday evening or Monday when you start your day, take a quick 10-20 minutes to plan out your week and then STICK to your schedule.
Finally – be honest. Tell the people you work with that along with working 40 hours a week you also are a full-time parent with your child at home all day too. I promise they will appreciate the honesty upfront. The majority of us have children, or enough compassion to understand what it takes even if you do not have your own children.
Get your child involved, stick to a schedule and be honest and I assure you working from home will continue to be the greatest workplace you’ve worked at!
Here’s a list of interview blunders that tech guys often make—and how you can avoid them.
You’ve graduated from a reputable college with a tech degree and top grades, so you think to get a tech job’s a cinch, right? You couldn’t be more wrong, especially if you have to first go through an interview. Regardless of your tech skills, your interview may be the hurdle that keeps you from getting your dream job.
Plenty of otherwise capable tech graduates fails at the interview portion of the job hunt. To keep you from making the same mistakes, be aware of the following common errors that too many tech job seekers commit:
You’re not dressed right
The era of techs dressing like slobs is over, and that’s an especially egregious mistake on an interview. You don’t even have the job yet! Maybe when you’ve attained some seniority in the company you may be given some leeway, but not when you’re still applying for a job.
It’s also not enough that you got a nice polo shirt on, especially when you also have tattered jeans and “classic” Air Jordan sneakers. Seriously, it doesn’t portray you as a serious worker on whom a company is supposed to invest their time and money. When in doubt, dress conservatively. Try on a suit for a change, shave or trim that beard nicely, and for goodness’ sake comb your hair!
You’re too casual in your tone and mannerisms
You’re not out with friends. Instead, you’re interacting with a person who has a say on whether or not you get a job with them at the end of it all. They have power over you, so it’s right if you’re a bit formal during the interview. You have to be courteous.
If you’re too casual, then it may seem as if you’re not really serious about getting the job. That’s not the kind of worker that companies are eager to hire.
You focus too much on your tech skills
It’s understandable if you like to talk about your range of technical skills. After all, that’s what you trained for and you’re more comfortable talking about what you actually know. You may want to emphasize your various certifications and other credentials.
Yet on interviews, your goal is to present yourself as more than a walking set of tech skills. You still have to prove that you’re a good fit for a company and their team of current tech workers. So you also have to present a positive character and not simply highlight your tech skills.
You come off as arrogant
The ability to work as part of a team is a crucial requirement for many companies. You’ll fail to do just that if you somehow mistake your arrogance as self-confidence. If the interviewer thinks you’re arrogant, then they may also conclude that you’re not much of a team player at all.
So how do you know the difference? Basically, it’s all about the underlying attitude. A confident person knows what they can do and how good they are. An arrogant person, on the other hand, feels like they’re better than everyone else.
You give curt short answers to questions
In a job interview, there’s really no such thing as a plain yes or no question. You answer “yes” or “no”, and then you have to elaborate on that answer. This type of question is like an opening salvo for a conversation, and you need to look at this as a chance to demonstrate your potential value to a team.
If you can’t communicate properly, then you’re a liability.
You don’t know enough about the company doing the hiring
There’s simply no good excuse for you not to do any sort of research on a prospective employer. At the very least, check out their websites and see if there have been any articles written about the company. See if you know anyone working there and asks them some questions.
Your research should also cover the industry of which the company is a part, and you should do some studying about the company’s competitors as well. If you’re not motivated enough to study up on the company, it’s as if you don’t really care about them at all.
You don’t ask questions
At the end of the interview, the interviewer may ask you if you have questions for them. This is your chance to find things out about the company that you didn’t uncover during your own research. It also shows your interest in the company and the industry they’re a part of.
So when they say, “Do you have any questions?” you don’t say “No”. In fact, before the interview, you may want to prepare some questions about the company in advance.
You ask about perks
While it’s understandable if part of you is asking the “What’s in it for me?” question, you still need to refrain from discussing the subject during the interview portion of the job hunt. Instead, you have to push that back after they’ve made you a job offer. So don’t go into the details regarding your benefits. Companies prefer workers who put the job and company first (or at least seem to). A “me-first” attitude is a turn-off.
You treat the interview like a therapy session
When you’re on a first date, you don’t spend too much time griping about your exes and your woeful romantic situation. The same goes for a job interview. Just because the interviewer seems friendly doesn’t mean you can go on and on about your previous work problems and current job hunt tragedies.
You let the interview peter out
A successful interview doesn’t fade out like some sort of awkward conversation. At the end of it, you have to close properly. You have to end it by showing them how much you’d like to be part of the company. You can also ask questions about the next stage of the job hunt process. You have to present yourself as an asset that the company should use.
So remember, getting a tech job isn’t all about having the right skills. It’s also about being able to communicate and having the right attitude. If you can keep that in mind, then your job interviews should go more smoothly!
There are times when you simply can’t work productively. You might be sick, you might be depressed, maybe you’re simply not in the mood, or whatever. In short, you’re having a slow work day.
Sometimes these things are out of your hands. And all you can do is use it to your advantage. But how can a slow workday be good for my productivity?
You can use various strategies to make this slow workday work for you. Some of these strategies are:
Use slow work days to organize yourself
So you have free time since nothing is going on? Then use this time to de-clutter or reorganize your workplace. Take advantage of the slow work day to make your place a more productive area to work in. Clear some files, clean your area, and make it a place where you can work comfortably.
Set Your Goals and Reevaluate Them
Use this moment to reflect on your work and on your goals. Analyze if it can be done based on the current information that you have. You can even use this time to set new goals or modify your existing ones.
Use this time to do small but meaningful tasks
You can use this slow work day to do some tasks that you’ve been putting off. You can make that report that you’ve been putting off or you can help a fellow workmate. You can promote the company’s image by promoting it on social media or use this time to look at some data.
Use this time to do tasks that aren’t meaningful now but may become meaningful in the near future.
Use this time to plan ahead
You can use this slow work day to plan your day in advance or maybe even plan for the whole week. Not only will you be more productive, you’ll be saving time your time and energy as well.
Use this time to build relationships or strengthen current ones
Slow Day? How about having a chat with your workmates to improve your standing with them. Your relationship with John from HR or with Jenny from accounting might come in handy one day.
You’ll also feel more comfortable working in the office if you’re friends with everyone there. Productivity will also increase since you and your workmates are comfortable with each other’s help.
This is similar to building relationships with your coworkers but this time you’re planning with other people in advance. You don’t just need friends in the workplace, you also need to connect with like-minded people who have the same goals as well.
Meet or Get in Touch with important Clients
You can increase your revenue by keeping in contact with potential clients. You can also use this time to strengthen connections with a current client as well.
Evaluate how you manage your time
This is the perfect opportunity to look at your time management skills. Review your work and analyze how you’ve been doing things in the past. Analyze if you’ve been managing your time wisely. You might’ve spent too much time on breaks or you might have failed to follow a certain schedule or plan.
Now is the time to reflect and look at how you’ve been using your time.
This is the perfect opportunity to come up with new ideas. You can use this opportunity to create new income making opportunists for your company. Or you can use this time to come up with organizational or societal causes that will help the community.
You can work with people in your office or use your connections to fundraise your ideas. You can even brainstorm on how you’re going to get that promotion or brainstorm about making the office a better place to work in.
Improve your current skillset
You can’t be more productive if you don’t improve your current skillset. You’ll never get that promotion if you don’t improve your managerial skills, you won’t finish that report quickly if you don’t improve your writing skills, you won’t be able to get new clients if you don’t improve your networking and social skills, and so on and so on.
Use this downtime or free time to make yourself a better worker.
Sign up for an online course
Join an online course, a webinar, or other online activities that will improve you as a person. You can specialize in a topic or join a community where you can find a specialty. You might be able to network with other people as well. The internet is there to make you a better person.
Make an Online Course
If you don’t plan to join an online course then why not make one yourself? If you’re an expert on a certain topic, then why not share your knowledge and expertise with others?
You’ll earn money while helping others in the process. It’s basically hitting two birds with one stone.
Well since there’s isn’t really much to do you might as well hit the gym. Go run in the treadmill, lift some weights, do some cardio. If there are no gyms nearby, then do some bodyweight exercise in the office.
Investing in your body and in your health is something that all of us must do. You can’t buy a healthy body nor can you sexy looking abs. You’ll be surprised at how much energy you have after exercising.
Get Some Rest and Relaxation
It isn’t every day that you’re given this kind of opportunity. Make the most out of it. Have some fun, play some games, get some sleep, de-stress.
It isn’t the end of the world if you have a slow work day. The best thing that you can do is to make the most out of it.
Also, try these tips for turning these ideas into a habit.